Not long ago I was grieving the loss of a friendship. It was odd, because the friendship had ended some years ago, and I felt quite at peace with it now.

So I enquired a bit further. What was it that I was truly missing? What essence do I feel I have lost?

And I realised the thing I was actually missing was having a creative friend to do mail projects with. This friend and I had done loads – we were penpals and we regularly did creative courses together, read the same book at the same time, shared journals and made altered books together.

That’s what I was really missing.

(And of course, I do miss that friend too. I miss the sweet years of our friendship. I don’t believe we would be able to be friends again, nor do I think it would be the right thing to do. Still, I miss the magic from that connection, and how unblemished my love for her was. I say this, because it’s taken me years… but I’m learning it’s okay to feel ALL our feelings!)

Anyways, once I knew the essence that my soul was asking for: creative friends! mail projects! I knew I could find a way to make it happen for myself.

Now loves, as you’ve probably discovered about me… I am not someone who sits around waiting for something to happen. I don’t say “I wish…” – I say “I want this so I am making it happen!”

I do it in my business. I do it with my goals. I even did it with my husband! He was the cute guy at work… so instead of waiting around and hoping… I asked him out! Jump on the Cutie Train you wish to ride! Ha!

So, knowing my goal was more creative connection with mail projects, I did a review. I realised I already HAD lots of creative friends… but they were all isolated, didn’t know each other, and we just didn’t talk that much about our art, oddly enough.

So I put out a call to my mates:

Then I made sure to tag all my creative friends that were at the top of my mind to see if they wanted to opt-in.

Then I created a Facebook group message for everyone who was keen.

I didn’t create a FB group because it’s hard to keep interactions alive in there and it’s easier to miss. I prefer the immediacy of group messages.

Just having a Facebook group message called CREATIVE CIRCLE is inspiring. In it, we share photos of the latest projects we are working on, books we are reading, new mediums we are trying out, creative questions we have.

I swear it’s made me increase my creativity SO MUCH because I love being able to share about the end results with friends.

Then I also asked everyone if they wanted to participate in a Travelling Art Journal.

Here’s how it works:

  • Everybody buys a smaller A5-ish sized journal. Some people grabbed Moleskine Cahier Journals, some grabbed plain art journals. We did it that size to make it cheaper and easier to post.
  • Everybody does 4-6 pages (or more!) of art journalling in the journal.
  • They send it on to the next person on the list within 2 weeks or so.
  • Everybody does 4-6 pages (or more!) of art journalling in the journal.
  • They send it on to the next person on the list within 2 weeks or so.
  • And on and on it goes until the journal is full and gets returned to the original owner.

Notes on Logistics:

  • I created a spreadsheet with everyone’s addresses, and the mailing order, and shared it with everyone.
  • This is probably a bit over the top, but I also created an extra part of the spreadsheet where people could mark when they had sent off a journal, so we know where each journal is.
  • There’s about 10 people in our Travelling Art Journal circle currently. You can do it with more or less. Even just 2 people is fun!
  • You will probably want to keep the journal within the same country for postage costs. Our circle is spread out over Australia and New Zealand. I tried to map it so the journals travel in the most efficient way possible (i.e. it makes it way down the coast of Australia in one direction, visiting people as it goes).

What can you do on the journal pages?

Whatever the fuck you like!

I’m envisioning by the end of the journals’ journeys, they will have all kinds of mediums and styles in there including:

  • sketching
  • painting
  • collage
  • written word
  • photos
  • whatever else takes people’s fancies!

You could also choose as a circle to alter each other’s journal pages as you go to layer it even more!

What’s it like?

In our circle, there are people with Art degrees, accomplished professional artists, hobbyists and people who haven’t done art since high school. It’s all welcome, all completely beautiful, and everyone’s pages are so deeply valuable and inspiring. I truly hope that’s what everyone receives from this experience – no comparison-itis needed here.

I can’t tell you how moving it is. To see the private art of beautiful souls is such a tender, vulnerable blessing. To read their words is a gift. I feel like my heart is swelling, growing bigger. To have an art journal circle is connection and creativity intensified. It makes me want to write love letters to the world again.

Create your own!

Want something like this in your life? CREATE IT! BE THE ONE THAT MAKES MAGIC HAPPEN!

This project is one of the best things I’ve done this year. I’m so glad I’ve done it.

Big love,